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Elevated gibberellin enhances lignin accumulation in celery (Apium graveolens L.) leaves

  • Ao-Qi Duan
  • Kai Feng
  • Guang-long Wang
  • Jie-Xia Liu
  • Zhi-Sheng Xu
  • Ai-Sheng XiongEmail author
Original Article


Gibberellin (GA) is a phytohormone of a biguanide compound that plays an important role throughout the life cycle of a plant. Lignin, a phenylalanine-derived aromatic polymer, can enhance the water transport function and structural resistance of cell walls. This function is also the core on biology of higher terrestrial plants. An appropriate lignin level is important to the quality of leafy vegetables, such as celery. The relationship between gibberellin levels and the occurrence of lignification has not been reported in celery. In this study, the leaf blades and petioles of celery cultivars ‘Liuhe Huangxinqin’ and ‘Jinnan Shiqin’ were used as materials, and different concentrations of exogenous gibberellin were applied to analyze the growth and lignin distribution of leaf blades and petioles. It was found that gibberellin treatment could influence the lignin content in celery leaves. Autofluorescence analysis under ultraviolet (UV) excitation showed that gibberellin treatment caused lignification of celery leaf tissue. The expression profiles of 12 genes related to lignin synthesis changed with the increase of gibberellin concentration. Our results showed that gibberellin played a significant role in the accumulation of lignin in the development of celery leaves. This provides a basis for further study on the regulation of lignin metabolism in plants and exerts a vital part in the application of plant growth regulators to production.


Exogenous gibberellin Lignin Development Leaves Apium graveolens L. 



4-Coumarate-CoA ligase


p-Coumaroyl shikimate/quinate 3′-hydroxylase


Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase


Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase


Cinnamoyl-CoA reductase


Caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase


Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase


Ferulate 5-hydroxylase


Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase




Phenylalanine ammonia lyase




Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction




Dry weight




Author contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: ASX, AQD. Performed the experiments: AQD, KF, JXL, ZSX. Analyzed the data: AQD, KF. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: ASX. Wrote the paper: AQD. Revised the paper: ASX, GLW. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

The research was supported by the Jiangsu Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Fund [CX(2018)-2007], National Natural Science Foundation of China (31272175), and Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions Project (PAPD).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

709_2018_1341_MOESM1_ESM.xls (32 kb)
ESM 1 (XLS 32 kb)
709_2018_1341_MOESM2_ESM.xls (18 kb)
ESM 2 (XLS 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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